Comparison of the 5 Melee Weapon Skills

Discussion in 'Dungeons of Dredmor General' started by Lavastar, Jul 22, 2011.

  1. Lavastar

    Lavastar Member

    Hello all. I have looked around this forum a bit and did not find anyone addressing the differences and inequalities of the 5 melee weapon skills (Swords, Axes, Maces, Staves, and Unarmed Combat, for the sake of completion), so I shall attempt to do so here and also demonstrate my opinion that the Axes Skill and Maces Skill are actually lacking something in comparison, and they should be buffed in some way as to make them worth considering.

    I have not played Dungeons of Dredmor enough to actually know how good all the weapons and skills are by experience, so please correct me on any mistakes. I am relying on data and skill descriptions from

    For ease of comparison, here is a table detailing the stats bonus you would get from maxing the skill tree (i.e. getting all 6 skills) of each melee weapon skill. The entries of the stats with the highest numeric values among the 5 skills are highlighted in yellow.

    - maxing the skill tree gives these passive stats bonus:
    +8 counter chance
    +7 enemy dodge reduction
    +2 piercing damage
    +1 slashing damage * total damage of 3
    +1 critical chance
    - the high counter chance bonus makes Swords ideal to combine with Dual Wielding, as you would get +16 counter chance from two swords combined, in addition to the counter chance bonus from the Dual Wielding skill itself.
    - Thibault's Trompement (lv4 skill) hits AoE in 3 cells in a line. This skill is more often used as a ranged poke than an AoE, from my experience.

    - maxing the skill tree gives these passive stats bonus:
    +8 enemy dodge reduction
    +4 slashing damage * total damage of 4
    +2 critical chance
    - Norwegian Axenado (lv4 skill) hits AoE all around yourself. This is robably the worst melee AoE, since you'd have to be surrounded to use it effectively.

    - maxing the skill tree gives these passive stats bonus:
    +7 enemy dodge reduction
    +4 critical chance
    +3 crushing damage
    +2 piercing damage * total damage of 5
    - Dwarven Handshake (lv2 skill) can knock back 2 cells, but this is a passive skill at 20% proc rate, so it is an unreliable bonus.
    - Ragnar's Meteor (lv4 skill) hits AoE in a 3x2 area and knocks back 1 cell. This is probably the best melee AoE in terms of area coverage. However, in my experience, this skill seemed to do less damage than normal and did not knock back.

    - maxing the skill tree gives these passive stats bonus:
    +1 counter chance
    +7 enemy dodge reduction
    +3 crushing damage * total damage of 3
    +1 critical chance
    +6 haywire chance * only this melee skill has it
    +8 block chance
    +2 magic power * only this melee skill has it
    - This is the only weapon skill to give haywire chance and magic power bonus, thus ideal for wizard/hybrid types.
    - Staff-type weapons sometimes come with wizard-ish stats bonus already on them.
    - The high block chance bonus is also nice.
    - Spirit Conduit (lv2 skill) can paralyze for 2 turns, but this is a passive skill at 20% proc rate, so it is an unreliable bonus.
    - Ki Cascade Strike (lv4 skill) can paralyze in an area around you for 3 turns. The paralyze effect makes this skill much better than Norwegian Axenado (Axes lv4 skill) in the dire situation of getting surrounded.

    Unarmed Combat
    * It seems the concensus here is that Unarmed Combat is too good. But I'll present it here anyway, for the sake of completion.
    - maxing the skill tree gives these passive stats bonus:
    +11 block chance * highest
    +7 dodge chance * highest, and only this melee skill has it
    +13 counter chance * highest
    +6 critical chance
    +6 enemy dodge reduction
    +3 crushing damage
    +1 piercing damage
    +4 aethereal damage * highest, total damage of 8
    - You can even dual wield 2 shields, for even more defensive or wizard-ish stats.
    - Throwing Buffalo Technique (lv2 skill) knocks back 1 cell.
    - Gray Heron Takes Flight (lv4 skill) knocks back 1 cell in AoE around yourself. But, if you were already surrounded and then you used this skill, wouldn't monsters just surround you right away on the same turn?

    In conclusion, Swords are great for dual wielding; Staves can paralyze and are great for wizards; Unarmed Combat kicks ass in just about all the stats bonus, not to mention more shields. But, what are the defining strengths of Axes and Maces? I think they should get something good too, if only to make them enough to rival the other melee weapon skills. Or, if there's already something great about Axes and Maces that I overlooked, please let me know.
  2. Lokloklok

    Lokloklok Member

    Axes usually do alot of damage for me. I dont know specific numbers but i do more damage with axes than with swords. (Perhaps axes have better stats?)
  3. Swords are more focused on countering and are easier to find. Axes have better precision and the axenado is awesome, maces deal more damage and crit good, staves are a nice melee for casters as they have good magic properties at later levels, and unarmed has awesome stats because you will be lacking any kind of weapon stats. It's hard to tell for sure, but I find every skill to have it's role.

    Unarmed could get something like "penalty upon wielding anything in your hands" unless you also take that skill that is. Maces and axes I don't see them being that bad, maybe they could have a "main atribute" as well... like maces having some block and axes a bit of dodge or more crit... Maybe if you compare the artifacts for each kind of weapon there is a significant difference though.
  4. killington

    killington Member

    Mace's ability is really awesome. I think axe is currently the only weapon not worth using.
  5. axes could get a passive at some level where damage splashes to enemies near your target, after all, vikings swing their axes like crazy :p
  6. Incendax

    Incendax Member

    Swords: Decent overall damage and excellent counter chance when combined with Dual Wield.
    Maces: Excellent piercing damage on some items, and the biggest critical damage potential when combined with Assassination. Dwarven Handshake is almost a guaranteed kill without retaliation which is great for conserving resources.
    Aces: High average damage, but the highest teir items are not noticably better than other items. Active skills do huge damage, but have undesirable AOE zones.
    Staves: A nice item for hybrid Mage/Warriors or Vampires who are not unarmed. Spirit Conduit is almost a guaranteed kill without retaliation which is great for conserving resources.
    Unarmed: Excellent damage in the early game, along with great pushing utility. Suffers from low damage in the late game.
  7. Lavastar

    Lavastar Member

    Oh, another thing I don't like about Mace, the knockback from Dwarven Handshake is not only unreliable, but also unintentional, as in you can't choose to turn off the knockbacks. Some time ago I tried a Vampire with Mace, and I led a monster zoo to a narrow corridor so I only had to fight one at a time. I kept killing monsters with Dwarven Handshake, knocking them out of range of Corpse Drain, and I can't run up to the corpse because another monster had already filled the place. I figured it was a silly combo to ever go Mace Vampire again. :/
  8. GammaPaladin

    GammaPaladin Member

    If you take Unarmed and Dual Wield, do you get double unarmed attack damage?
  9. Incendax

    Incendax Member

    It is a little bit silly with Vampirism when the knockback blow is also the killing blow, but it is generally far better to knock the enemy back before he can retaliate against you.

    @GammaPaladin No.
  10. GammaPaladin

    GammaPaladin Member

    Aww, that sucks. They should really have that work. If nothing else, it would suck to do a random game and end up with unarmed and dual when they don't work together, and considering Unarmed already has the lowest base damage due to lack of weapon bonuses, making it add your melee damage stat bonus twice with Dual Wield would just make sense...
  11. DragonRider

    DragonRider Member

    Swords (with high counter but a lousy 2nd point proc), Maces (with high damage and an excellent knockback proc), and Staves (magic stats and good active/passive attacks, but poor baseline damage) all seem to have a niche, but Axes seem to be inferior to Maces in pretty much every way...they have fewer total stat points AND worse abilities.
  12. waitwhat

    waitwhat Member

    Can you use two weapon skills with dual wield?

    Say for example, I were to use a sword and a mace in either hand, would I get the procs of each weapon skill?
  13. NefariousKoel

    NefariousKoel Member

    Unarmed Combat.. I wasn't terribly impressed with it's low damage. Sure, it has some nice stat bonuses but missing out on using those high ranking weapons, which add a lot of damage, is a big downside.
  14. zaratustra

    zaratustra Member

    perhaps give a bonus to axes when wielded with a free hand (two-handed axe wielding)
  15. Bakyra

    Bakyra Member

    There's a secret which may be a bug. Sword's 4th skill hits twice against enemies in melee
  16. Incendax

    Incendax Member

    @WaitWhat Yes. If you use two of the same weapon then you only get the bonuses from your Weapon Skill once. If you use two DIFFERENT weapons then you will gain the bonuses from BOTH weapon skills at once.
  17. Kemo

    Kemo Member

    @Incendax Actually that's wrong. If you Dual Wield two weapons of the same kind you will get the statbonuses from skills twice i.e. 16 Counter for swords etc.

    This doesn't work with unarmed though which should be considered when evaluating stats.

    Last but not least you can use any weaponstyle with any kind of weapon i.e. unarmed styles while using swords.
  18. killington

    killington Member

    Technically unarmed is your foot, so you cant really dual wield. Plus, youre not wielding anything. For probably the most OP melee skill in the game, lets not look for buffs.
  19. Incendax

    Incendax Member

    @Kemo It doesn't work that way on my screen, and I am pretty sure that I have the latest version. It doesn't matter if I equip one sword or two swords the bonus is the same as equipping one sword. I have no reason to disbelieve you, so I wonder what is causing the difference?
  20. killington

    killington Member

    @incendax: I just tested it on my dual wielding sword, you get all the bonuses over again for equipping the second sword.